Gor Mahia are out of the 2019 CECAFA club cup. This after a shock 2-1 loss to Green Eagles of Zambia.
Additional reporting from the Nation
Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay Wednesday evening cut a frustrated figure after his team was bundled out of the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) Kagame Cup.
Despite scoring first, the Kenyan champions went on to lose 2-1 to a physically and technically superior Green Eagles side from Zambia.
“It (the result) has something to do with our fitness levels,” moaned Oktay.
“You know we are in pre-season. We only trained for a few days before coming here and we have had to play a game every two or three days.”
Oktay also blamed this defeat on the absence of his key players including Philemon Otieno and Francis Mustafa who have been excused from participating in this tournament after featuring at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Zambia.
Substitute Shadrack Mulungwe was the toast of this match. He scored a classic winning goal which aided the Zambian guest team proceed to the last four here at the Stade Kigali.
But both teams commenced this game in lacklustre form.
With two minutes played, a pass from Warren Kunda intended for his goalkeeper Sebastian Mwange was instead intercepted by Gor Mahia forward Nicholas Kipkirui.
The former Zoo Kericho striker reacted quickly, and lobbed a cheeky shot past the advancing Mwange and into the net for the opening goal of the game.
A minute earlier Gor’s Samuel Onyango had sent a speculative shot towards the Zambians goal, but it did not trouble Mwange.
Then it was Gor’s turn to get sloppy.
First, Wellington Ochieng gave away a foul in a dangerous area and Tapson Kaseba sent a free kick just off Gor keeper Boniface Oluoch’s right hand side.
Then, Hashim Sempala misjudged the ball in his own box and had his pocket picked by Amity Shamende.
Shamende’s initial goal bound shot was blocked by Charles Momanyi but the rebound landed at Kaseba’s feet. The attacker in turn released a first time left foot shot which easily beat a stranded Oluoch.
Eagles, who finished second behind Zesco in the just concluded Zambia league season, dominated thereafter.
Micheal Mwenga had another opportunity to hand his side the lead but blasted over with the goal at his mercy.
Boniface Sunzu then headed a Ceaser Hakaluba corner kick over the bar.
Mulungwe scored a brilliant solo goal after the restart.
The lanky forward chested a long range pass in the box with his back facing the goal. He thereafter made an acrobatic turn and sweetly struck a left foot shot into the net leaving defenders Harun Shakava and Charles Momanyi wondering what hit them.
There was still time for Mwange to pull a couple of saves from Kipkirui, Boniface Omondi and second half substitute Dickson Ambundo.